It's not often that ITG News carries stories written by trumpet players' parents. In this case, though, we will let Geoffrey Gallante's father, David, explain. Geoffrey is one of ITG's newest members, and almost certainly our youngest.
"My son, just 5 years old, became an ITG member in December. He began lessons just 12 months ago and has done some truly amazing things since:
- Placed, by audition, into symphonic band at summer band camp by placing in the top 16 out of a total trumpet studio of 50 junior high players - Geoffrey was just 4 at the time and hadn't even entered kindergarten yet;
- Still at 4, played the Star Spangled Banner at the Potomac Nationals (Washington Nationals minor league affiliate) baseball game;
- Appeared in a feature article in the July 23 edition of the Washington Post;
- Sits in at local jazz venues;
- Had a private audience with Marvin Hamlisch;
- Met and played with Wynton Marsalis backstage at the Kennedy Center;
- Played a duet on stage with Phil Driscoll;
- Was invited up to play on stage by Maynard Ferguson at Blues Alley."
In December Geoffrey played with the Washington Symphonic Brass (WSB) at Gettysburg College's Majestic Theatre. In February he completed a series of three more performances with the WSB: Geoffrey was their 'guest soloist', performing the Armed Forces Medley arranged by Michael Brown/Phil Snedecor. Since then he has had TV appearances including the CBS Early Show and the Tonight Show with Jay Leno.
David Gallante pays tribute to Geoffrey's teachers, both ITG members: "It was Steve Eisen who started Geoff on lessons just after his fourth birthday. Steve started him on a very solid foundation, teaching him musical notation/fingerings and inculcating in him an appreciation of the importance of daily drilling of keys/scales - all the while making it fun for Geoff. Mr. Eisen soon afterwards moved to California and David Detwiler continued his fine work. Geoff is quite fortunate for Mr. Eisen's positive influence, and fortunate still to be in the very capable hands of David Detwiler."
Speaking to ITG News, David Gallante added, "He'll go out and perform his solo part, in formal concert attire, of an arrangement for 16 professional musicians, with an ensemble as distinguished and polished as the Washington Symphonic Brass, and the next morning be back in his kindergarten class for 'storytime' as if nothing happened - as if he thought, 'This is what all kindergartners do, isn't it?' If you asked Geoff what's been the coolest thing he's done so far, he'd probably
tell you it was the day he spent at Disneyland following his Tonight Show
Geoffrey's current teacher David Detwiler is quoted in the CBS Early Show article: "The first day I heard him I looked and went, 'Oh, my goodness.'" Readers may wish to visit the CBS site (click the link below) where you can enjoy a video clip of the news report. No doubt ITG News will have more to report on Geoffrey's career ... watch this space!
Geoffrey Gallante with the Washington Symphonic Brass (Gettysburg College)
CBS Early Show item (with link to video)
Washington Symphonic Brass • 2005-6 concert season